Flu Update: Monday Afternoon, April 27

As predicted, the Swine Flu is spreading, (or we’re finding new cases, perhaps both.) There are more cases in New York City and the suspected flu here in South Carolina is “most likely” Swine Flu – or as the experts are calling it, A/H1N1. A Funky Heart reader in Sacramento, California reports that a case has been reported there, too.

There is no reason for the general public to panic. There have been no US fatalities and all United States cases have been described as “mild”. Odds are, this flu has been in the United States for a while now, and sufferers have just thought it was a late season bout of the flu.

If you have a chronic illness, the rules are slightly different. We’re already more susceptible to colds and flu, just because our immune system is already busy fighting our main illness.  Those of us who have had heart surgery at a young age are even more at risk: Humans are normally born with a Thymus. The Thymus Gland produces T-Cells, which are major contributors to the body’s immune system.

But the Thymus is located just above the heart, and it is often destroyed during heart surgery. Because the Thymus is ruined, Cardiac Kids and Heart Warriors often have a hard time fighting off colds. Whenever I get a cold, I’m full of mucus and my respiratory system is clogged. I often have to sleep in the recliner, because it is difficult to breathe while I’m lying down.

So if your Cardiac Kid is feeling ill – either during this Swine Flu crisis or at any other time – a trip to the hospital might be in order.

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4 Responses to “Flu Update: Monday Afternoon, April 27”

  1. Tom Wertz Says:

    I was told by my daughter’s surgeon that the Thymus pretty much shrivels up and dies on its own sometime around the teen years. So I assumed that the absence of a Thymus in an adult was no big deal. Do you have information that contradicts that? I’d be very curious.

    thx!

    • Steve Says:

      The Thymus does “turn itself off” as we age, but when you have surgery at a young age (my first surgery was 5 months, my 2nd at 10 and a half) destroying the Thymus damages the Immune System. The Immune System is not destroyed and still works, but not as well as it could work.

  2. Laurel Nelson Says:

    Is that why cardiac kids have a hard time fighting off stuff??? Wow I learned something new today!

  3. carolyn compton Says:

    WOW, ANOTHER THING TO ASK THE CARDIOLOGIST!?! Clarry visits again next month to find out when his fontan completion time frame may be.

    This flu is affecting the way we manage transport and disease control in every country now in our global village. I just did a training session on CPR today (in Australia) and its changed again, but for the better to be in line with international recommendations. Danger, Response, airway, breathing, compressions, defribulator! DRABCD…they have added the D and have changed looking for a pulse as it wastes valuable time, so instead of “C” standing for circulation, it stands for “Compressions” just get straight to it!!! (if there is no beathing and no signs of life) and 2 breaths for 30 compressions…100 compressions in a minute. Much easier to remember. saving more people more quickly. This was due to a review of statistics…another reason to have a national register for CHD’s, well done all you political movers. Statistics make things work.

    BTW my friend went in today to get a new couple of organs. pancreas and kidney. she got the call at around midnight and she is stable this afternoon, after the op. Her poor husband must just be so tired too. medical marvals.

    another long one steve….sorry

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